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WARTIME POLISH HERO FLIES AGAIN

A WARTIME hero was being honoured at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire today, when an aircraft bearing his likeness touched down.

Polish fighter pilot Miroslaw Feric fought in the Battle of Britain, and two images of the air ace are on the tailfin of a specially-decorated MiG-29 from the Polish Air Force which landed at the Base, home of the world's largest military airshow.

The aircraft, which flew in from Minsk, near Warsaw, was met by members of Feric's family his son Philip, who lives in Hampshire, wife Penny and daughter Antonia - plus Sqn Ldr Richard Willis from RAF Northolt, and the chairman of the Polish War Memorial Committee.

Philip, who lives in the New Forest, said: "I was only four months old when my father died so I have no memories or stories of him, as my mother was killed in an air raid, and I was brought up by two great-aunts. But since the downfall of Communism in Poland, the country's opened up and I've been able to find out more about my father. There have actually been a lot of tributes to him in Poland, with a school named after him, and a medal struck on the 40th anniversary of his death, and I think this image on the tailfin of the MiG is a great tribute."

He added: "When the aircraft first took off in its new livery, the pilot Capt Grzegorz 'Iceman' Czubski, apparently said: 'Feric is flying again', and that's just marvellous."

The 'Feric' MiG is one of the first two to be painted, 70 years after Capt Feric's death, and the plan is to paint 20 in total with the images of Battle of Britain heroes.

Feric trained in Poland before the war, and first saw action defending the Warsaw area after the invasion of his country. After being evacuated to Romania, he escaped from internment and reached France where he flew Morane MS-406 fighters protecting aircraft works. Following the fall of France, he was evacuated to Great Britain, entering service with No 303 Polish Fighter Squadron, based at RAF Northolt. He flew Hawker Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain, and in 1941 flew Spitfires on missions over France. He was killed at RAF Northolt in February 1942.

Tickets for the Air Tattoo, priced from £39, are available here. Under-16s go free. No tickets will be available on the gates.

Photograph courtesy of Calyx.

July 4, 2012

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Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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